David Shulick: Breaking Down the ADEA

Attorney David Shulick knows that when it comes to employees being discriminated upon the basis of their age, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is the law most applicable to building a case. The ADEA was constructed in 1967 in order to protect workers over the age of 40 and ensure that they do not become victims of discrimination by their bosses or co-workers.

Like many other significant acts that dictate employment law, the ADEA had multiple amendments that came from new cases arising where circumstances have evolved and new issues had to be addressed. In 1989 the case of Ohio v. Betts became one of those pivotal cases that addressed an issue that had yet to receive legislative review: protecting the benefits of older workers. In the outcome of this case, the judged upheld that the ADEA should be amended to include specific protections for the benefits of older workers. The amendment was titled the Older Workers Protection Act. It was put into place to ensure that older workers received, at minimum, the same benefits that younger workers receive.

Under the OWBPA, in the event that an employee is qualified to receive Medicare, the employer still cannot force that employee to use it by cutting his or her benefits, not limited to but especially in cases where the benefits that employer offers outweigh those that are available through government programs.

When it comes to workplace seniority, the ADEA and its amendments see seniority as a matter of experience rather than age. The most skilled and experienced workers get the seniority, therefore keeping a level playing field when it comes to hiring, promotions and more. And just like with any other piece of legislation, there are still exceptions; including those when age is an actual requirement for the job. For example, actors who reflect the age of a character in a movie may be more likely to get the role than someone with more skills and experience, simply because that particular role demands a person of a particular age range.

David Shulick Honors His Mother’s Memory as Benefactor of U.S.C. Shoah Foundation


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